Bagno Vignoni is approximately 50 kilometers south of Siena in Tuscany. It can be reached by car traveling on the Via Cassia, leaving Siena by the Porta Romana or by taking the Siena Sud exit on the by-pass. Follow signs for S. Quirico d'Orcia, then signs for Bagno Vignoni. The nearest international airport is Florence.
The thermal baths of Bagno Vignoni, enjoyed by the Romans who consecrated these waters to the Nymphs, became even more popular during the Middle Ages, thanks to their proximity to Via Francigena, an important thoroughfare connecting Northern Europe to the Italian Peninsula. From the 12th century and throughout the 13th century, Bagno Vignoni became a stopover point for Christian pilgrims traveling this route on their way to Rome. Bagno Vignoni is described in a document dating back to 1334 as a "thermal spa arranged and surrounded by buildings and taverns with a chapel in the middle. It has a very beautiful square layout, with the spring divided in two parts and a roof for protecting the infirm." This pool, no longer used by the public, is a massive basin of steamy water, which forms the main piazza, creating an element of pleasurable surprise. Warm reflections of stone buildings, tiled roofs and potted geraniums dance across its surface to delight the visitor.
"Oh, Nymphs living in these vapors, liberating the eternal fire among the waves, restoring life to those who suffer, I salute you and gift you with copious waters. Spring forth and bring health to the infirm, and to the healthy, a sweet bath. For both, we will be grateful."
This text, inscribed on a stone tablet in Ancient Greek, was placed under the arcade of Santa Caterina, dedicating these thermal waters to the Nymphs of fountains and rivers, daughters of Zeus.
Today, these thermal baths are operated by the Township of San Quirico d'Orcia and offer a wide range of therapies, including mud baths, for various degenerative forms of arthritis and rheumatism. Supported by the national health care system of Italy and staffed by trained personnel, this establishment offers patients specific treatments as prescribed by their physicians. In addition, other treatments are available without a doctor's prescription including reflexology, Shiatsu and many types of massage.
For thermal treatments
Stabilimento Termale di Bagno Vignoni
Piazza del Moretto 32, Bagno Vignoni, 53027 San Quirico d'Orcia (SI), tel/fax: 39-0577-887-365, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The establishment is open from June through October.
Osteria del Leone
Piazza del Moretto, tel/fax: 39-0577-887-300, www.illeone.com
Open for lunch and dinner, closed Mondays. The young chef, Andrea Bazzani offers a varied menu of local specialties, changing according to the season.